June 1st marked the official start of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season. While this year won’t be a repeat of 2012 when two named storms formed in the Atlantic before the official kick-off to the hurricane season, all eyes are on a system that’s festering in the southern Gulf of Mexico and northwest Caribbean.
So far the system is showing us an increase in rain and thunderstorm activity and was classified late on Wednesday as a small tropical storm. The experts say that this system could take shape soon and become a tropical depression or storm as it moves closer to the Florida coastline later this weekend or early next week.
Regardless of what the new system may or may not do, it is certain that there is going to be lots of precipitation moving towards Florida. This substantial rainfall could very well lead to heavy downpourings of rain and localized flooding by the weekend all across the state of Florida. There’s even a chance that tornadoes could form during the next few days as the atmosphere over the Sunshine State is going to remain unstable.
Forecasters are telling us that it’s probably going to be a busy hurricane season as water temps in portions of the Atlantic are already warmer than normal. It wasn’t so long ago that folks living in the East mostly were mildly amused at the year’s names when it came to the hurricane season. However, after Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy, residents living on the eastern seaboard are anything but amused and are more than aware that another big storm can come their way at anytime during the season.
So what are forecasters saying? Generally speaking, it’s being forecast that the 2013 season may be one in which 18 named storms take shape with nine of them growing into hurricanes and four reaching Category 3 with winds in excess of 111 miles per hour. If forecasters are right, 2013 will be just a bit less active than 2012 that had 19 named storms, ten hurricanes and two major hurricanes. The typical season has 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
The start of the new hurricane season is a good reminder for people living in hurricane-prone areas to prepare for the season by checking insurance polices for storm and flood coverage. It’s also wise to put together a ‘hurricane kit’ and to meet with family members to agree upon an evacuation plan.